Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dianna Update - 12/26/09

Let me start off with some really happy news! On Christmas we get to talk on the phone! What we have to do is have you call me though because I'm not allowed to have the church pay for the long distance phone call. I also hope that you are free at the time I'm scheduled to have phone time. My companions and I have special permission to use the mission office for phone calls because there are 3 of us and they have 3 lines. The problem is that we have to wait for you to call us because we can't call out. We will be at the office just before 3pm so you can call us at 3. I think that's noon for you. I'll be waiting, and there isn't caller ID so one of my companions may answer the phone, but I'll be right nearby. I'm excited!

This week has been quite the adventure. On Friday my companions and I got in a little spat and had to work things out, it's not easy being in a trio, but I love them both very much. All is well now though, no worries. :)

The other day we ended up getting a flat tire and it was really fun to fix that in the snow... Luckily we are near Elders who were willing to come help us. We stood outside for over an hour while they played with it. We felt bad so we went into Tim Horton's (same as Starbuck's) and bought them Hot Chocolate. They never got it off so we went and knocked on the nearest door and the man that lived there came to the rescue. It was a good thing that we had him there because he had better tools than us, plus his 2 little kids came out to help, SO CUTE!

We had the strangest/happiest phone call the other day. His story is a little long to write, I'll try to remember to tell you about him during our phone call. His name is Gary. I'll also have to explain Robert, our land-lord, to you. That's a good story.

This Sunday we decided to contact former investigators in our Area book. We went to this one house where it says Naur, a Muslim man, lived. When we got there they said no Naur lived there but they welcomed us in in a matter of seconds. They brought us upstairs and we met the family (at least who was home). It is 2 parents, Mohammed and Helenah, and their 6 kids; Salam, Sumaya, Boshra, Yousef, Ibrahim, and Zahraa. I'm pretty sure I spelled them right, don't ask me to spell the last name, it's not going to happen. It's quite the coincidence because this family is also Muslim. They stopped their night and talked with us for over an hour, it was amazing. The dad is really talkative and loves to explain his faith, and compare it with ours. We met again with them yesterday and Sumaya who is about 16 had read the first 2 chapters of the book of Mormon and was asking some really7 great questions. We also watched the Restoration with them and she also asked questions about it. She seems the most interested out of all of them. They were so great! They even fed us. What wasn't so great was that Mohammed is SOOOOO talkative that we ended up sitting there an hour before we got a word in and ended up staying almost 3 hours!! I'm excited for them.

Also on Sunday, after church, our branch went caroling to this house of a boy and his mom. The boy was in a car accident when he was 2 years old. He's now 17 but his mental and physical development is delayed. We sang a couple hymns and then we sang the Barney song with him because that's his favorite show. We also gave him a stuffed Barney. He was SOOOOOOOOOOO happy and his mom started crying while we sang. It was very nice to be there. People in Atlantic Canada are the nicest in the world, I'm thoroughly convinced.

I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas. I hope the time works out okay for you. If not, I don't know...just don't forget!

Love you!
Sister Dianna Nicholls

Andrew Update 12/26/09

Andrew has checked into the MTC (12/9). Here is his MTC address:

Andrew Nicholls
MTC Mailbox # 206
CHI-RAN 0209
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Here are excerpts from the letters he sent this week:

Letter 12/20 - Well everybody is so awesome here! Such good teachers, and this guy Brother Priest is soo smart! He's and anesthesiologist, and a quantum physicist! I have never met another man with so much knowledge! It blows my mind! So my companion Elder Kimbal and I are totally best friends. Our teachers Hermano Mortimer and Hermamo Taylor are so awesome too!

So Dianna is doing well? Good =) I cannot believe I've only been here 10 days! Awesome. I'm more than 1/70 done with my mission! Woot! That's like 1.3%! Hahaha... I miss you all tons. Please ask EVERYBODY to write me on Love you all lots! Hope you all are just as silly and goofy as when I left!

- Elder Andrew Nicholls

Letter 12/23 - I finally have a chance to write a letter! It's been like forever since I've gotten here! But it's awesome here, and everyone is so cool in my district! My companion is District Leader, so I'm here to help make all the decisions. Kinda like a 1st counselor. And what's cool here is that since there's only 6 Elders in my district, my companion and I have the 4-person dorm to ourselves! Awesome! I'm totally being a lifter-upper mom =) I'm helping everybody to be their best, including myself =) So I can pray, testify, and do door approaches in Spanish now =) It's AWESOME! They feed you so much here! I'm trying to not fall into temptation of eating too much! Haha. I'm praying for you guys too, and I know the Lord will protect you while I'm on his errand. I love all of you!

Even though it's under 40 many times, it doesn't feel cold. It actually feels HOT a lot haha =) Don't worry, I'm so busy and focused I'm not distracted AT ALL from my duties to the Lord. Food - too much, Companion - VERY spiritual, Sooo awesome. I've already learned so much from him. We're like a perfect companionship it's awesome. We get along so well. and benefit from each other. Plus we both have the same situation with home life! I'm excited for Chile! So I memorized our purpose in Spanish, and can pray and testify in Spanish. I love you all and think about you guys siempre!

- Elder Andrew Nicholls

email 12/23 entitled, "So.....Much......Food...." My companion has already gained 7 pounds. Wow. I'm afraid to check the scale. So this place is pretty cool I'd have to say. There's ALWAYS a general authority here for firesides and devotionals. Even Neil L. Anderson came last night!! My companion is pretty much the cream of the crop. He's the DL. The RC is my favorite thing here!! You can call people and talk to them about the church, and even send missionaries over to their house to talk! DearElder is pretty much the hit around here. I've already gotten like 20 from DearElder, and I love reading them at night before bed! I'm so surprised about how much Spanish I'm learning! We pray, testify, greet, and give talks in Spanish! Everything is going awesome! I can't wait to get out there and teach the good word! Well I hope to hear from you all soon. Thank you for all the goods and treats that i received today. I love you all and appreciate all your support. Write you more next week :)

-Elder Nicholls

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dianna 12/5/09

I have SO much to tell you! Brace yourself! First off, thanks for the pictures :) I printed them out and put them on my bulletin board. They're my favorite (and only) pictures.
I realized that I didn't do a good job describing my life here. That could take a million years and pictures to explain, but I'll give you a little taste. We have the funkiest church building EVER. The building itself is nothing exciting but where it is... It's on top of a HUGE hill and there are 3 parking lots on the way up. We call them the Telestial, Terrestrial, and Celestial parking lots, because the higher up you park the closer you are to the church and less walking you have to do. It's funny...especially when it's raining.
My branch is awesome! It has 80 members, and there are only about 30 that come each week. BUT what's really good is that the branch missionaries are AMAZING!! They help us SO much, and the branch president is practically still a missionary, he does so much. He and his counselors call us about once a week to see how it's going. So much support.
We have this one investigator who came to church BEFORE we met him. His name is Joe and he's from China. He lived with the Stake President in New Brunswick for a year and went to church and seminary there. Now he's here for college and coming to the YSA branch. He's practically a member and I'm almost positive that he'll be baptized within the month. It's really exciting :)
Want to know something crazy? It didn't snow here for almost a month! It snowed one day at the beginning of November but then nothing until yesterday and it wasn't all that bad. It looks like I'm going to need to go get boots now.
I still have moments where I think "What am I doing? How did I get here?" The idea of being a missionary is still new to me. It's quite an experience. And weird.
My Thanksgiving was AMAZING!!! Sister Simpson called us in the morning and invited us to join them and all the senior couples in the mission at the mission home for dinner (1 pm). It was so great, we were so lucky, we were the only set of normal missionaries there. And THEN we remembered we had a dinner appointment at 4:30 so we ate 2 Thanksgiving dinners and we weren't allowed to tell any of the Elders. Sister Moss and I gave each other funny looks during the second dinner because we felt like we were going to pop open!!! We survived though, no worries.
Someone we talked to on the street told us that we should sell cars because we are really convincing. It's true, this particular guy, we gave him a pass-along card, he gave it back, and then asked for it again!! We aren't teaching him but he will definitely think about it. It was a good compliment.
So, transfers are tomorrow and Sister Moss and I totally thought we were free from any change, but no. We are getting a 3rd sister!! I don't know her but Sister Moss does. Her name is Sister Olsen and she has been here a transfer longer than me but she is extremely homesick. That's not going to be fun to be around. Sister Moss is positive that I'll love her though so I'm not worried.
I still have a lot I could say, but it will have to wait. I love you all very much and hope all is going well.

Love, Sister Nicholls